How Does Addiction Affect Those Married To Addicts
Drug addiction and alcoholism can have a number of negative impacts on a marriage or relationship. Research has shown an important link between alcohol use and dysfunction in families and relationships. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, drug addictions and alcoholism can affect a marriage in the following ways:
- Time spent away from the marriage, as an addict or alcoholic dedicates more and more time to procuring and consuming their substance of choice
- Increased emotional distance between partners
- Higher levels of stress in the relationship
- A greater number of arguments, which, in some cases, can escalate into domestic violence
- Financial losses due to money being spent to feed one partners addiction
Be Consistent With Boundaries
Setting boundaries is hard, but then you must also continue to enforce them. Alcoholics and drug addicts test boundaries. Substance abuse wires their brains to continue alcohol or drug abuse at any cost. If youre married to an addict, consistency is key. Be clear about what you wont tolerate and the consequences of their actions. When they cross your boundaries and they likely will enforce those consequences. If you let them get away with something once it sends a message that behavior is acceptable.
Should My Spouse Go To Inpatient Or Outpatient Treatment
Another key decision will be figuring out whether an inpatient or an outpatient rehabilitation program is best for your loved one. This decision is personal, and will depend on his or her specific needs. Inpatient programs are more intensive and require the individual to live onsite in a supervised environment throughout the duration of the program. Outpatient programs do not include the residential component, allow for work and family obligations to be met while completing treatment, and are usually less costly. Liberty Ranch offers an evidence-based and cost-effective intensive outpatient treatment program, that allows clients to manage work and family responsibilities while attending part-time rehab.
Overall, identifying what type of program is best for your spouse will depend on their current situation and needs. However, if your loved ones life has become truly unmanageable and and he or she requires 24 hour-a-day supervision, inpatient treatment might be necessary.
Support For Couples In Rehab
Support groups can be a critical source of emotional strength for the spouse of a person in recovery. By connecting with other individuals who have gone through the same experiences, partners can learn new coping strategies and acquire a sense of hope for the future.
You can find support groups, such as 12 step programs, in your local area and communities. These programs can focus on helping individuals and couples share their experiences with substances, support each other with struggles to stay sober, and can provide companionship during stressful times.
Here are a few 12 step programs that can aid in addiction recovery and give you and your loved ones additional support:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
Having A Tough Conversation
If you have evidence that your husband is addicted to drugs, perhaps because of physical and behavioral signs or because you have found drugs in the home, it is time to have a tough conversation. Before going into the conversation, it is helpful to understand that your husband may try to turn the conversation away from the topic of his drug use. He may be experiencing denial and might cope with this by talking about anything but drug use. Practice the conversation ahead of time and plan what you want to say so that you can stay on track should he attempt to divert the conversation.
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When Someone You Love Has An Addiction
The fallout from an addiction, for addicts and the people who love them, is devastating the manipulations, the guilt, the destruction of relationships and the breakage of people. When addicts know they are loved by someone who is invested in them, they immediately have fuel for their addiction. Your love and your need to bring them safely through their addiction might see you giving money you cant afford, saying yes when that yes will destroy you, lying to protect them, and having your body turn cold with fear from the midnight ring of the phone. You dread seeing them and you need to see them, all at once.
You might stop liking them, but you dont stop loving them. If youre waiting for the addict to stop the insanity the guilt trips, the lying, the manipulation its not going to happen. If you cant say no to the manipulations of their addiction in your unaddicted state, know that they wont say no from their addicted one. Not because they wont, but because they cant.
If you love an addict, it will be a long and excruciating road before you realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do. It will come when youre exhausted, heartbroken, and when you feel the pain of their self-destruction pressing relentlessly and permanently against you. The relationships and the world around you will start to break, and youll cut yourself on the jagged pieces. Thats when youll know, from the deepest and purest part of you, that you just cant live like this any more.
Additional Support For Your Spouse
While there are many universal ways to support your spouse, men and women experience drug and alcohol use and treatment differently. For example, men have higher rates of substance abuse and seek treatment more often. Women tend to face more barriers when seeking substance abuse treatment. These barriers can include lack of family support, greater stigma associated with going to treatment, and childcare responsibilities. Therefore, when discussing getting help with your wife, it may be beneficial to emphasize your support for treatment and develop a concrete plan for fulfilling family responsibilities while she focuses on her recovery.
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Creating An Environment That Sustains Recovery
When a partner or spouse comes home from rehab, it is probably unrealistic to expect that they will find a completely addict-proof environment. Even if all traces of alcohol, illicit drugs, or potentially addictive prescription medications are removed from the house, images of alcohol or drug use in magazines, TV shows, or movies can trigger cravings.
Friends may inadvertently appear at the house with beer or wine, unaware that someone in the home has just completed substance abuse treatment. Most significantly, the partner of the recovering addict may not be ready to give up alcohol or drugs. Partners of individuals in recovery must be very honest with themselves and with their partner about their readiness to join them in sobriety.
The following checklist can be used as a guide to creating a home that supports long-term recovery after rehab:
Husband Approved Dinner Recipes Order Me One Dinner
Be nice to him or her and you might find the reason behind his or her addiction. Do not try to talk to your husband about this while he is gaming.
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What Causes Porn Addiction
Research on causes of porn addiction is not abundant however, there is data to support the claim that behavioral addictions, addiction to porn included, use similar mechanisms as substance addictions.
Besides physiological factors, psychological ones play a significant role. Psychological benefits that a person reaps explain why people choose certain activities, including porn addiction.
These include, but are not limited to alleviating stress, reducing anxiety, dealing with boredom, acquiring pleasure, coping with negative emotions, or avoiding certain situations and feelings.
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Find An Ongoing Support Community
Whether your opioid-addicted spouse chooses to enter treatment or not, you may experience a range of emotions. If your spouse enrolls in a rehab facility, you may feel immense relief. Some spouses also experience bouts of resentment, especially if they are left to tend to household responsibilities.
Whatever your personal situation, you may benefit from seeking ongoing support. Groups like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon offer no-cost meetings in most towns and cities. Additionally, many people benefit from engaging in mindfulness groups, yoga practices, or therapy sessions. These self-care practices can help spouses reduce stress and build a sense of emotional resilience.
Opioid addiction is not a quick fix, and often involves several steps. At Vertava Health Massachusetts, we provide family addiction therapy and follow-up services for spouses and children. These counseling sessions allow families to process their emotions and develop positive coping skills.
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Recovery Is A Family Project
Lastly, think about recovery as a family project. Youll find there are helpful programs for the partners of recovering addicts and your children, too. Al-Anon, for instance, helps families of alcoholics with a program thats similar to the 12 steps of AA. You may find other programs at your local church or through your therapists office.
Finding a recovery center that includes family members as part of the plan for recovery is also important. While those struggling with substance abuse are responsible for their own behavior, there can be family dynamics that increase the odds of addiction. Being in recovery together, even if youre not actively addicted, can help you heal psychological wounds that may be holding you back, too.
Whatever you do, if you plan to stay in the relationship, know its going to be hard work. But what marriage isnt hard work? Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and anything worthwhile takes effort. Marriage isnt any different. Even in the healthiest marriages, things can go wrong.
Thankfully, theres a lot of support out there for people living with an addicted spouse. One such place is 12 Keys Rehab.
Tactics 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan For Discussing Your Christian Convictions
In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. Youll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, youll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.
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If Your Husband Is Addicted Get Him To Treatment
Seeking treatment is also an important part of moving forward from your husbands addiction. Substance use disorders are clinical conditions that require professional intervention. The specifics of treatment will vary based upon the severity of your husbands addiction. He may be able to complete counseling on an outpatient basis. On the other hand, if his addiction is more severe, residential or inpatient treatment may be necessary.
Ways To Be Supportive To A Spouse In Treatment
Once your partner is in treatment, it is important to educate yourself on the recovery process. Peer support networks can be especially useful in helping you learn about what an addict goes through during treatment while connecting you to resources.
There are a number of ways you can support your spouse both while they are in treatment and once they leave rehab:
- Encourage them to follow through with all of their treatment recommendations
- Reinforce the importance of abstinence to their sobriety
- Avoid situations where substance use is common. This might include family events and get togethers with individuals with whom they previously used drugs or alcohol
- Encourage them to seek out a sober communities, peer support networks and participate in sober social activities
- Work on developing healthy communication patterns
- Help them cope with their stress by listening, avoiding judgement, and finding solutions
- Patiently work with them to process their emotions by using the skills they acquired in rehab
- Learn about their recovery and understand what may trigger a relapse
- Create a prevention plan and know what to do and who to contact in the case of a relapse
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Praying Scripture Over Your Childs Life
Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. Shes been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.
Searching For Drugs If Your Husband Is Addicted
If all the physical and behavioral signs are pointing to addiction, it may be time to search for drugs to keep yourself, your family, and your husband safe. After all, if your husband is addicted, you ultimately want him to get treatment. If there are children in the home, it is especially important that any drugs be found and removed. Common places you may find drugs include your husbands car, in his coat or pants pockets, under the bed, in his dresser, or any drawers beside his side of the bed. You may also find drug paraphernalia items, such as pipes, spoons, straws, or tin foil.
If you do go searching for drugs, be prepared to defend why you have violated your husbands privacy. For example, you may explain that you were worried about his wellbeing or concerned about drugs being in the home because of the childrens safety.
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Encourage Your Spouse To Attend Meetings
Many find going at sobriety alone to be an especially difficult task. Reintegrating back into everyday life and staying clean following an inpatient or outpatient treatment experience can be a great feat. And while it is doable, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can provide a helpful outlet to those struggling with sobriety. These 12-step programs offer a supportive, peer-run environment where addicts and alcoholics can connect with others who have dealt with substance use disorders themselves.
Programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as NA and AA, allow individuals dealing with substance use disorders to share with others going through the same thing. They can help the addict in your life better understand the struggles of addiction and sobriety. Moreover, there are meetings widely available in most areas in the U.S. and membership is open to anyone.
During meetings, AA and NA members are free to share about their experiences and challenges with sobriety and life in general. Personal support is provided in the form of a sponsor who can offer person-to-person advice, support their sponsee in following the 12 steps, keep them accountable and provide emotional support. Meetings are not just for those who have received addiction treatment, as some may forgo rehab and begin their sobriety journey directly with the support of AA or NA.
How To Let Go Of An Addict You Love: Knowing When Its Time To Let Go
Loving an addict is one of the most difficult things that can happen to most people. Whether youre in a romantic relationship with an addict, or its your child, parent or someone else youre close to, its incredibly difficult to continue loving someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. While you may make your best effort to help them, at some point, you might also have to understand how to let go of an addict you love.
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Things To Do When Youre Married To An Addict
Being married to an addict feels like a betrayal. Drugs and alcohol are their priority, not you and your family. You may have tried everything you can think of to help your addicted spouse. Its not working. Youre starting to accept you cant beg, cry, scream or coddle them into sobriety. Heres what you can do.
Is There Such A Thing As A Functioning Alcoholic
The term functioning alcohol is often used in American culture and society. But is there really such a thing as a functional alcoholic? Alcoholism is marked by alcohol dependence and deep-seated chronic brain disease. Addiction, in general, controls your life, and your schedule is centered on avoiding withdrawal symptoms and maintaining your addiction. Plus, it usually progresses as your tolerance grows. You need more alcohol and to drink more often to stave off painful and dangerous withdrawal. While some people maybe be earlier on in the process, alcoholism is a complex disease. Even if it doesnt seem debilitation now, it may become worse soon.
Plus, alcohol withdrawal can be potentially deadly. If your life is centered on having to find your next drink to maintain your addiction, what happens if you find yourself in a situation where you cant drink? Things like surgeries, medical procedures, and pregnancies are complicated by the presence of alcohol in your system. It can also be difficult to travel safely while under the influence. If you are put in a position in which you dont have access to alcohol, you can experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms like seizures and delirium.
Functional alcoholism may just be a distinction that points out that a person suffering from alcoholism is still in their early stages. However, there is no version of alcoholism that is safe and functional in the long term.
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